chant

[chant, chahnt]
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noun
  1. a short, simple melody, especially one characterized by single notes to which an indefinite number of syllables are intoned, used in singing psalms, canticles, etc., in church services.
  2. a psalm, canticle, or the like, chanted or for chanting.
  3. the singing or intoning of all or portions of a liturgical service.
  4. any monotonous song.
  5. a song; singing: the chant of a bird.
  6. a monotonous intonation of the voice in speaking.
  7. a phrase, slogan, or the like, repeated rhythmically and insistently, as by a crowd.
verb (used with object)
  1. to sing to a chant, or in the manner of a chant, especially in a church service.
  2. to sing.
  3. to celebrate in song.
  4. to repeat (a phrase, slogan, etc.) rhythmically and insistently.
verb (used without object)
  1. to sing.
  2. to utter a chant.

Origin of chant

1350–1400; (v.) Middle English chanten < Middle French chanter < Latin cantāre, frequentative of canere to sing; (noun) < French chant < Latin cantus; see canto
Related formschant·a·ble, adjectivechant·ing·ly, adverbhalf-chant·ed, adjectiveun·chant·ed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018


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British Dictionary definitions for chant

chant

noun
  1. a simple song or melody
  2. a short simple melody in which several words or syllables are assigned to one note, as in the recitation of psalms
  3. a psalm or canticle performed by using such a melody
  4. a rhythmic or repetitious slogan, usually spoken or sung, as by sports supporters, etc
  5. monotonous or singsong intonation in speech
verb
  1. to sing or recite (a psalm, prayer, etc) as a chant
  2. to intone (a slogan) rhythmically or repetitiously
  3. to speak or say monotonously as if intoning a chant
Derived Formschanting, noun, adjectivechantingly, adverb

Word Origin for chant

C14: from Old French chanter to sing, from Latin cantāre, frequentative of canere to sing
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for chant
v.

late 14c., from Old French chanter "to sing, celebrate" (12c.), from Latin cantare "to sing," originally frequentative of canere "sing" (which it replaced), from PIE root *kan- "to sing" (cf. Greek eikanos "cock," Old English hana "cock," both literally "bird who sings for sunrise;" Old Irish caniaid "sings," Welsh canu "sing"). The frequentative quality of the word was no longer felt in Latin, and by the time French emerged the word had entirely displaced canere. Related: Chanted; chanting.

n.

1670s, from chant (v.), or else from French chant (12c.), from Latin cantus "song, a singing; bird-song," from past participle stem of canere.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper